Wednesday, November 4, 2009
A PAIR of hero Brits proved Our Boys are the world's toughest — after hammering all other nation's soldiers at the forces first Afghan marathon.
More than 300 super-fit servicemen from the US, Denmark and Estonia turned out for the race around fortified US and UK bases, in Helmand.
Hardy US Marines organised the endurance challenge to prove their superior mettle — but it was Lynx chopper pilot Captain Alex Lockett and Lance Corporal Jon Rogers who triumphed.
Capt Lockett, 30, from 652 Squadron, 1 Regiment Army Air Corps, said: "Everyone was out to beat the Americans and we all love to take the mick of them in their matching sports gear.
"There were plenty of 'Run Forest , Run!' comments, but they took it in good spirit."
L/Cpl Rogers, 22, from 7 Signals Regiment, said: "The US Marines organised the marathon so beating the Yanks at their own race felt pretty sweet.
"Everyone knows the Marines are double hard but I can assure you it wasn't a case of me running scared. I just happened to run faster after calling them a bunch of school girls!"
The race was organised so the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) could blow off steam between battling to bring safety to war-torn Afghanistan.
More than 400 spectators turned out to cheer the Brits to victory. Capt Lockett clinched first with L/Cpl Rogers taking second — winning his age category.
The gruelling 26 mile race started at 7am when the normally soaring temperature was a mild 30 degrees.
But in the build-up runners had to train from 2am to 4am in the morning in pitch black conditions wearing head torches as the burning sun made it impossible to train in the day.
Astonishingly both men's regular army fitness regime is so advanced neither put in much extra effort ahead of the race.
Capt Lockett — who had never attempted a marathon before — only started training a month before the big day and L/Cpl Rogers didn't do more than his usual fitness regime.
Capt Lockett, said: "I had no idea what the competition would be like and certainly didn't expect to win.
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